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Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exist?

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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby atticus » Tue May 23, 2017 10:42 am

As to the rest, I can see your point.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue May 23, 2017 11:00 am

Spankymonkey wrote:Who benefits when the police DO arrest? Both the suspect AND the police. Because now the suspect is afforded a legal right to free advice, that he would otherwise not have been entitled to at a voluntary interview.


A person attending a voluntary interview has the same right to free and independent legal advice as an arrested person.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby TenaciousB » Tue May 23, 2017 12:16 pm

atticus wrote:OP - an acronym for Original Poster - is a term applied to the person who starts a topic.

Okay so I'm a HOOP A highjacker of original post.

I'm now puzzled. People are suggesting that voluntary interviews are conducted without a solicitor. However, the Police offered one straight away, and the lack of a duty solicitor is the reason the latest date was missed.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby shootist » Tue May 23, 2017 12:36 pm

TenaciousB wrote:I'm now puzzled. People are suggesting that voluntary interviews are conducted without a solicitor. However, the Police offered one straight away, and the lack of a duty solicitor is the reason the latest date was missed.


The 'people' who suggested such a thing are wrong. Whether arrested or participating in a voluntary interview, a suspect at a police station is entitled to free legal advice. In some cases I believe this may amount to a phone call, but mostly a solicitor will be admitted. Some people insist on being interviewed without a representative being present. This is a foolish option. I believe the quote goes something like "A man who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer".
Last edited by atticus on Tue May 23, 2017 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: correct attribution of quoted text
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby Spankymonkey » Tue May 23, 2017 5:02 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:
Spankymonkey wrote:Who benefits when the police DO arrest? Both the suspect AND the police. Because now the suspect is afforded a legal right to free advice, that he would otherwise not have been entitled to at a voluntary interview.


A person attending a voluntary interview has the same right to free and independent legal advice as an arrested person.


No he does not. Section 58 only extends the right to consult a solicitor to those under arrest, not those voluntarily in the police station. Free and independent legal advice may be a different matter but for the type of non-imprisonable (and non offences) I describe, you will instead by palmed off with the CDS helpline, the topic of which I have covered in detail already in this same thread.

Nothing prevents that person from bringing their own legal representative or making a request for one. However, rest assured that in most cases, this right to independent legal advice will be conveniently forgotten by the interviewer.

Incidentally, if the police offered you a duty solicitor then lucky you. The offence they want to interview you probably has aggravated elements, and besides which they probably intend to arrest you the moment you reach interview. If they don't then good luck to that duty solicitor claiming his dues through the Legal Aid Agency.

Shootist, are you honestly suggesting that the police NEVER conduct voluntary interviews without making it clear the subject is entitled to legal representation. Again, maybe in your day.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby shootist » Tue May 23, 2017 5:58 pm

Spankymonkey wrote:Shootist, are you honestly suggesting that the police NEVER conduct voluntary interviews without making it clear the subject is entitled to legal representation. Again, maybe in your day.


For the avoidance of doubt I am certain that there is no form of abuse of the legal process that some police officer(s) somewhere are not willing to engage in, even in 'my day'. Did you notice I made reference to a number of police officers I know personally who stated they would risk causing death to a physically vulnerable prisoner arrested for a relatively trivial offence, who's identity of which they were certain, because they had that power to use force to take those fingerprints? They genuinely believed this to be so, and passed of the possibility of death as a result of such action as the responsibility of the prisoner. Now that is frightening.

While the last interviews I participated in with the police, in a joint exercise with Trading Standards, the officers invariably worked from a script that included the right to free legal advice. When anyone was interviewed by Trading Standards, in my department at least, much the same script was used.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue May 23, 2017 6:43 pm

Spankymonkey wrote:Section 58 only extends the right to consult a solicitor to those under arrest, not those voluntarily in the police station. Free and independent legal advice may be a different matter but for the type of non-imprisonable (and non offences) I describe, you will instead by palmed off with the CDS helpline, the topic of which I have covered in detail already in this same thread.


I have exercised the right which you say does not exist myself.

From the College of Policing:
Suspects should be informed:
• Of the nature of the alleged offence including when and where it was committed;
• That to properly investigate their suspected involvement they must be interviewed under caution;
• That, in the circumstances, their arrest may not be necessary if they attend at the police station voluntarily to be interviewed;
• That if they attend voluntarily they will be entitled to free legal advice before the interview and to have a solicitor present during the interview


From Bedfordshire Police's instructions to their officers:
3.4.4 When a suspect has attended a police station or other premises voluntarily he/she has access to the same rights as an individual brought into custody, but in addition must be advised that:
 They are not under arrest,
 They are not obliged to remain at the police station / premises.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby Spankymonkey » Tue May 23, 2017 9:14 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:
Spankymonkey wrote:Section 58 only extends the right to consult a solicitor to those under arrest, not those voluntarily in the police station. Free and independent legal advice may be a different matter but for the type of non-imprisonable (and non offences) I describe, you will instead by palmed off with the CDS helpline, the topic of which I have covered in detail already in this same thread.


I have exercised the right which you say does not exist myself.

From the College of Policing:
Suspects should be informed:
• Of the nature of the alleged offence including when and where it was committed;
• That to properly investigate their suspected involvement they must be interviewed under caution;
• That, in the circumstances, their arrest may not be necessary if they attend at the police station voluntarily to be interviewed;
• That if they attend voluntarily they will be entitled to free legal advice before the interview and to have a solicitor present during the interview


From Bedfordshire Police's instructions to their officers:
3.4.4 When a suspect has attended a police station or other premises voluntarily he/she has access to the same rights as an individual brought into custody, but in addition must be advised that:
 They are not under arrest,
 They are not obliged to remain at the police station / premises.



Despite the fact that neither reference you cite supplants primary legislation, they do not contradict my point, which I have laboured repeatedly in this thread.

As quoted, the college of policing states that a person in voluntary attendance will be entitled to free legal advice. Not a free solicitor. That legal advice will be a call handler on the CDS helpline. Poorly trained and wholly inadequate, who spend much of the call reminding you they are not a solicitor and that you should 'employ a solicitor' if you think you need one. If do decide you want a solicitor, then you will be paying for it. This is not the same as what you will be entitled to re section 58.

I have no idea what your second reference was supposed to prove, so I won't challenge it.

I cannot comment on the right you claim to have exercised as I know nothing about the circumstances. However, if the offence that you are being held at the police station for is non-imprisonable and you don’t wish to pay for your legal help, then you will only be eligible to speak to someone at the Criminal Defence Service Direct.

This is an edict of the legal aid agency. If some police stations and duty solicitors are ignoring this, then good for them. But you will find that most police stations will adhere rigidly to this rule.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue May 23, 2017 9:32 pm

I attended at a police station voluntarily in connection with an offence which is not imprisonable. I demanded the attendance of a solicitor, which was given to me free of charge, as was my right.

The College of Policing refers specifically to attendance by a Solicitor. My second source refers specifically to people attending voluntarily having the same rights as arrested persons.

S. 58 does not restrict the right to legal advice to arrested persons. It is irrelevant to people attending voluntarily, because it applies only to people who have been arrested. We would not expect to find the rights of people who have not been arrested there. Just because arrested people do have this right, it does not follow that other people do not.

Further, you confuse the use of the CDS telephone advice line with the denial of representation by a Solicitor. Just because people are encouraged to call for advice, it does not mean that attendance by a solicitor is unavailable.

Anyone reading your comments would come under the false impression that they cannot have free representation at the police station. That is catastrophically bad advice.
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Re: Called in for questioning by the Police, what rights exi

Postby Spankymonkey » Tue May 23, 2017 10:01 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:
Anyone reading your comments would come under the false impression that they cannot have free representation at the police station. That is catastrophically bad advice.


Perhaps they would have a false impression if they misread my comments as you have. And yes perhaps it would be bad advice if that is what I was offering. I am not, as I went to some lengths to assure you and the OP in an earlier thread. Did you bother to read that at least?

I have said REPEATEDLY that detainees are entitled to free representation. But you seem to believe that free representation means a free solicitor. It does not. You DO NOT have a right to a consult a solicitor for free for every single offence. Legal aid cuts put pay to that. And I have not said ANYWHERE that a detainee will be denied the right to speak to a solicitor. I have said repeatedly that for non-imprisonable offences they will be denied the right to speak to a solicitor for free.

As yet you have failed to locate a reputable source of reference that contradicts that.

Smouldering Stoat wrote:S. 58 does not restrict the right to legal advice to arrested persons.

Had parliament intended that right to be afforded to detainees or visitors or volunteers then that is the choice of words they would have used. Your fanciful interpretation of section 58 will not change it's meaning simply to suit your argument.

To help you along, here's some advice from the Unlock website:

"If you interviewed by the police under caution, or have been arrested, you are always entitled to free legal advice and representation. You will not incur any costs for this legal representation. In some circumstances, for example where you’re interviewed about a minor offence, that this right will be limited to advice over the telephone."

Here's some more from the UGov website:

"Tell the police you would like legal advice - the police will contact the Defence Solicitor Call Centre (DSCC)
ask the police to contact a solicitor, eg your own one
You may be offered legal advice over the phone instead of a duty solicitor if you’re suspected of having committed a less serious offence, eg being disorderly."

And here's one from a firm of Criminal Defence Solicitors who also undertake duty solicitor work, which shows that even those who are arrested for offences not deemed worthy of interview have limited access to free advice.

"Due to Government changes some detainees at the Police Station who are not to be interviewed are only entitled to free legal advice by speaking over the phone to a legal adviser from the Defence Solicitor Call Centre which is contracted by a Government body. They are not entitled to legal aid to speak to a solicitor of their own choice."



If that is 'catastrophically bad advice' then perhaps you should inform them all.
Last edited by Spankymonkey on Tue May 23, 2017 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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